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NCAA academic requirements

For 75 percent of college student-athletes, they will have no issue meeting the academic minimums laid out by the NCAA. That said, just because you are a good student doesn’t mean you can assume you will meet the academic eligibility rules. Every year, student-athletes with 3.5+ GPAs and honors courses are declared academically ineligible due to not meeting one of the following NCAA eligibility requirements.

  • Core Course Requirement – Each high school has a list of approved NCAA Core Courses (more info here). You are required to pass 16 core courses throughout high school. While there is a slight variation in the requirements for DI and DII schools, if you meet the DI core course requirements, you will also be eligible at the DII level. View our full breakdown on the NCAA core course requirements.
  • Core Course GPA – The NCAA does not use your entire high school transcript for determining your GPA. They are only concerned with your GPA in your core courses. The NCAA provides a core course worksheet, but it also likely require a meeting with your high school counselor. Check out more information on how to determine your core course GPA.
  • NCAA Sliding Scale – The NCAA uses a combination of your GPA, SAT or ACT test scores in determining your eligibility. It is impossible to say what GPA or SAT/ACT scores you will need without knowing the other. Learn more about the sliding scale to get a sense for what GPA and test scores you will need.

NCAA amateurism requirements

The cornerstone of the amateurism rules is that student-athletes are not allowed to have received prize money (beyond the reimbursement for participation); they can’t have signed a contract with or receive benefits from an agent; they can’t receive money for promotion of products or services; and they are not allowed to make money by use of their athletic ability or fame. Additionally, student-athletes are prohibited from delaying their full-time collegiate enrollment to compete in organized sports.